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Lifewire / Bill Loguidice
Large anti-glare display
Excellent color reproduction
High response rate
AMD Radeon FreeSync support
75Hz maximum refresh rate
Relatively low resolution for screen size
Only single HDMI, Display Port, and USB-C inputs
The LG 34UM69G-B is a large, affordable gaming monitor with AMD Radeon FreeSync support. It features an IPS panel, fantastic color reproduction, and high response rate, making it suitable for more than just gamers.
Gamers know all too well the type of monetary investments they usually have to make to get the best performance out of their rigs. Of course, a high-performance monitor is at the heart of any good gaming setup, but one that also has real benefits for non-gamers.
LG makes a wide range of monitors, including several, like the 34UM69G-B, in the UltraWide category, where the field of view is more expansive and enveloping. These monitors vary greatly in features and price, with a premium placed on the highest resolutions and refresh rates.
With the 34UM69G-B, LG tries to balance the performance demands of a large screen with modest resolution and refresh rates. They try to do all of this at an aggressive price point without skimping on features.
We evaluated this monitor to see if it meets or exceeds expectations both for what it tries to do and what concessions have been made to reach its price point.
The 34UM69G-B has a mostly-black body with clean lines. The included V-Line stand allows for a forward or backward tilt between -5 and 20 degrees and a vertical lift of up to 4.7 inches. It has striking red color accents that make it look more like gaming gear, but taken as a whole, the monitor’s appearance would not look out of place in the average office.
An UltraWide monitor at this size is the type of display you need to see in person to appreciate how big it really is. You’ll not only need enough space for the V-Line Stand, which has a width of 19 inches, but also enough to the left and right of the monitor to accommodate the display itself, which is 32.5 inches across. With no VESA mounting option, you’re stuck with using the V-Line Stand.
The monitor’s bezel is thin, but the actual display area is surrounded by an approximately 0.5-inch-thick black border, although this drops to about .25 inches on the bottom of the screen. While a borderless display would be even better, the current design does allow for easy placement of a separate webcam at the top of the screen.
It provides excellent color reproduction and generous viewing angles.
On the back of the monitor is an HDMI-in, DisplayPort-in, and USB-C port, the latter of which works with the DisplayPort protocol. There’s also a DC-in for the power cord and a headphone jack for headphones or external speakers should you play audio through one of the video inputs.
A single Joystick Button in the center of the monitor below the LG logo controls all of the built-in monitor functions. Pressing this button once powers on the monitor, pressing and holding the button powers off the monitor, and moving the joystick button left or right controls the volume down or up, respectively. Once the monitor is on, a single press of the button displays the on-screen menu.
While it's not strictly necessary, the monitor is wide and unwieldy enough that you’ll want to make this a two-person lift and setup. Because of its size, you have a choice of laying the box flat to open it or removing the contents from the top. We chose to remove the contents from the top and had no issues.
Upon opening the box, you’ll find a Display Quality Assurance Report, which indicates how the monitor was precisely calibrated prior to factory release. On the top styrofoam, there’s the V-Line Stand base and a bag with a CD-ROM, manual, and other paperwork, as well as a DisplayPort cable, USB cable, HDMI cable, AC adapter, AC cable, and a cable management clip. In the interior styrofoam, there’s the monitor itself and the V-Line Stand arm.
Assembly was quick and simple. We attached the V-Line Stand base to the V-Line Stand arm, then snapping the assembled stand into the slots on the back of the monitor. We then snapped the cable management clip into the slots on the V-Line Stand arm. Once that was in place, it was simply a matter of plugging the AC adapter into the back of the monitor and AC cable and then attaching the desired video cable, which in this case was DisplayPort.
The CD-ROM contains the owner’s manual, software guide, monitor driver install file, and the software installer for the OnScreen Control software. Naturally, since fewer and fewer people have CD-ROM drives or equivalent these days, all of this information is also available to download on the LG website.
While this monitor should be plug-and-play on most setups, it’s best to take the time to install the included driver software and OnScreen Control software for the best performance and access to all of the monitor’s features.
Since the 34UM69G-B uses an In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel, it provides excellent color reproduction and excellent viewing angles. The sRGB color gamut, which is a standard that reduces discrepancies in color between input and output based on a narrow range, is rated at over 99%. Based on our testing, it certainly looks like it.
Similarly, when viewed from the side at even the most impractical extremes, the display remained clear and bright. In terms of glare, there was none to note on the display from either the sun or indoor lights, although the glossy outer casing did pick up some reflections.
Between FreeSync, G-Sync, 1ms Motion Blur Reduction, and other modes … there should be settings to accommodate just about any need.
As a gaming-centric monitor, the 34UM69G-B officially supports one of the two most popular modes of adaptive sync: AMD FreeSync. Simply put, adaptive sync matches the refresh rate of the monitor with the frames being produced by the graphics card, resulting in smoother gameplay.
While FreeSync only works with select AMD video cards, G-Sync is the equivalent for NVIDIA video cards and also (unofficially) works with this monitor. Despite not supporting every G-Sync feature, we were still able to get excellent, stable performance from our NVIDIA video card after enabling FreeSync in the monitor’s settings.
For those without either FreeSync- or G-Sync-enabled video cards, or simply don’t like to use those features, LG offers other optimized and customized gaming settings. For instance, there’s Dynamic Action Sync, which minimizes input lag for Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games, as well as two First-Person Shooter (FPS) modes. Between FreeSync, G-Sync, 1ms Motion Blur Reduction, and other modes like Photo and Cinema, there should be settings to accommodate just about any need.
Although the 34UM69G-B has a maximum refresh rate of 75Hz, the recommended refresh rate is just 60Hz. This is fine for most gaming and general use, but it’s also one reason why this monitor is so affordable. If you’re looking for a monitor with a high refresh rate in the 120Hz/144Hz range, you’ll need to look elsewhere, and of course, pay quite a bit more.
On the plus side, the lower resolution helps keep game frame rates high.
Similarly, the resolution is just 2560 x 1080, which is a bit low for this size display. While there’s plenty of room to put two to four windows side-by-side on your screen, you can’t, for instance, display the full length of a standard 8.5 x 11 page in Microsoft Word. On the plus side, this lower resolution helps keep game frame rates high, and for older eyes, the larger pixels make things easier to see overall.
As with any monitor, sound from the built-in speakers is not the best. In our testing, the audio presence was a bit flat and lacking in bass, although thanks to the size of the monitor, there was actually good stereo separation between the left and right speakers. Naturally, truly dedicated gamers or audiophiles will want to explore any of a number of quality external speakers or headsets to get the best experience.
By default, LG enables a feature called MaxxAudio. When it’s turned on, you can tweak various bass, treble, dialog, and 3D sound settings. Frankly, even after tweaking these settings, we found that having MaxxAudio off actually produced better sound. With MaxxAudio off, the monitor audio set to 100%, and Windows 10 sound at 30%, we found the audio to be quite loud and clean. With Windows 10 sound set to 100% in that same scenario, there was surprisingly little distortion from the built-in speakers.
Although it’s not recommended that you sustain volume at those levels, it’s a further testament to the overall quality of this monitor that even its speakers can handle being pushed to extreme levels.
The OnScreen Control software is optional, but it’s probably worth installing for Windows and Mac users—it makes for a nice complement to the monitor’s built-in menu options. You are given a choice of Screen Split, Monitor Settings, My Application Preset, and Game mode settings to adjust.
For Screen Split, you can go a bit beyond what the native operating system easily supports, going all the way up to an eight-screen split. There is also a Picture-in-Picture (PIP) option, but we were unable to make that work during our testing.
For Monitor Settings, you can adjust the picture mode, brightness, contrast, and display orientation.
My Application Preset lets you set Picture Modes that activate when different applications are opened. For instance, you can automatically set the monitor to Photo Mode every time Adobe Photoshop runs. The only downside is that these custom modes change the entire screen, so if you were watching a video in a web browser and then opened Photoshop, the entire screen would still switch to Photo Mode.
In the Game Mode settings, you can adjust response time, 1m motion blur reduction, and black stabilizer levels, and you can turn FreeSync on or off. Depending upon what feature is or isn’t active, some of these options may not be available—for instance, when FreeSync is active, you can’t turn on 1ms motion blur reduction.
Retailing for $379.99, the LG 34UM69G-B provides a great value for this size and quality of its screen. While it lacks the higher resolution and refresh rates of its pricier brethren, any concessions it makes are for good reasons.
Even if you aren’t a gamer, the monitor’s generous size, feature set, and overall picture quality make for a great display.
VIOTEK GN32DB 32-inch Curved Gaming Monitor: Although the VIOTEK monitor sports a 144Hz refresh rate, its curved screen design is polarizing and is lower quality than the LG 34UM69G-B’s IPS panel.
Pixio PX329 32” 165Hz WQHD Monitor: The Pixio offers a 165Hz max refresh rate for just under $350, but has less screen real estate than the LG 34UM69G-B and lacks its IP panel technology.
LG 27UK850-W 27-inch 4K UHD IPS Monitor: The LG 27UK850-W offers a higher resolution at 4K, HDR support, a pivoting screen, and FreeSync support, but costs quite a bit more than the LG 34UM69G-B and its larger, higher-speed panel.
A modest investment for both gamers and non-gamers alike.
The 34-inch diagonal screen provides for a generous viewing area, and though a higher resolution and maximum refresh rate would have been appreciated, those types of compromises make sense for a product at this price point. Even for non-gamers, there’s a lot to like about this large, feature-rich monitor.